Citizens In Favor of Indictment for the Unjust Killing of Ahmaud Arbery
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On the afternoon of February 23rd, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was jogging in the coastal city of Brunswick in southeast Georgia. A 64-year-old retired police officer by the name of Gregory McMichael and his 34-year-old son Travis felt that Ahmaud looked suspiciously like a fleeing burglar and took it upon themselves to grab a .357 Magnum, a shotgun, and begin chasing Arbery. A neighbor, shortly thereafter, hopped in their pickup truck to assist with the confrontation.
District Attorney George Barnhill, who has since recused himself from the investigation (his son works in the prosecutor's office in Brunswick), feels that the father and son had probable cause to believe the victim was a burglar putting them well within their rights to arm themselves and pursue. The prosecutor agreed; pointing out that video footage of the fatal shooting that followed shows the young Black male to be the aggressor. He was minding his own business when 3 armed gunmen began chasing him, and the state of Georgia seemingly wants to grant them permission to use deadly force because they needed to protect themselves. No arrests have been made.
Code of Georgia sections 16-3-21, 23, and 24, commonly known as stand-your-ground laws, assert that you are justified in using threats of force, force, or deadly force to protect yourself or others, to protect your habitation, your home, your car, your place of business, or to protect your property other than your habitation, and says that you have no duty to retreat and you can stand your ground and exercise that level of force, including deadly force, so long as you are justified in the use of that force. It clearly states that you cannot avail yourself with the stand your ground law and are excluded from using justified deadly force if you initially provoke an attack in order to use force, or if you were the primary aggressor.
In understanding that the McMichaels never had probable cause to believe that they were protecting themselves, another person, their home, their car, their place of business, nor their property before provoking an attack, persons endorsing this petition are seeking, at minimum, voluntary manslaughter indictments brought upon both Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael on grounds that they intentionally killed Ahmaud Armery while under the influence of a sudden and violent passion incited by their admitted profiling of the victim.
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